All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not. Then, when you can get little enough and naked enough and poor enough, you’ll find that the little place where you really are is ironically more than enough and is all that you need. At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect.
That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. Such people can connect with everybody. They don’t feel the need to eliminate anybody . . .
~Richard Rohr, Healing Our Violence through the Journey of Centering Prayer (Compact disc edition)
The slavery that keeps us from following our goodness is an inner slavery. We are trapped by ideas of worthlessness and lack of self-esteem, by desire or greed or ignorance. Enslaved by notions of victimhood or entitlement. It is a story of the fear of change, about clinging to places and behaviors that are small and hurtful because letting go of them will mean facing something unknown. I heard again my grandfather’s words: “The choice is never between slavery and freedom; we must always choose between slavery and the unknown.”
~Rachel Naomi Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings
…We are all more than we know. Wholeness is never lost, it is only forgotten. Integrity rarely means that we need to add something to ourselves: it is more an undoing than a doing, a freeing ourselves from beliefs we have about who we are and ways we have been persuaded to “fix” ourselves to know who we genuinely are. Even after many years of seeing, thinking, and living one way, we are able to reach past all that to claim our integrity and live in a way we may never have expected to live. Being with people at such times is like watching them pat their pockets, trying to remember where they have put their soul. . . .
Often in reclaiming the freedom to be who we are, we remember some basic human quality, an unsuspected capacity for love or compassion or some other part of our common birthright as human beings. What we find is almost always a surprise but it is also familiar; like something we have put in the back of a drawer long ago, once we see it we know it as our own.
~Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom
Your way begins at the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.
Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
I tell my students, “When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.”
Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything—anger, anxiety, or possessions—we cannot be free.
~Thich Nhat Hanh
There is a need to find and sing our own song, to stretch our limbs and shake them in a dance so wild that nothing can roost there, that stirs the yearning for solitary voyage.
~Barbara Lazear Ascher
For more quotes about freedom: https://pathwriter.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/quotes-for-the-4th/
The beauty is forever there before us, forever piping to us, and we are forever failing to dance. We could not help but dance if we could see things as they really are. Then we should kiss both hands to Fate and fling our bodies, hearts, minds, and souls into life with a glorious abandonment, an extravagant delighted loyalty, knowing that our wildest enthusiasm cannot more than brush the hem of the real beauty and joy and wonder that are always there.
~Margaret Prescott Montague
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, but rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.